In your workplace every day you’re managing dozens of relationships, upwards, sideways and down. There’s your boss, and his or her boss…your peers, your direct reports, their teams and so on. It should come as no surprise that all their differing styles may not meld perfectly with yours. In fact, at times it can be downright annoying.
You may have a peer who takes on assignments but is MIA when it is time to get it done, holding up your work. It could be that you have a talented team member who is in such a hurry for their next promotion that they wear you out, complaining about the lack of opportunity. Your boss may hold information so close to the vest, that you don’t have what you need to make effective decisions. There are as many examples of “annoying behavior” in the workplace as there are people holding down jobs. Even more concerning, there are some relationships you break at your own risk. Rather than risk it, you suffer in silence, sending your Stress-O-Meter through the roof.
What should you do about it? Hit the issues head on? Grin and bear it?
I recently read a great article in the Harvard Business Review by Caroline Webb on just this topic. While there are a lot of articles on the topic of handling difficult discussions, in this article “How to Tell a Co-Worker They Are Annoying You” stood out for me, because Step 0 in the process is defining your collaborative “intention” for the discussion. Of course, as soon as I read that I was hooked immediately. If you’ve been procrastinating on dealing with an annoying co-worker, this article may offer some pointers to help you figure out how to take positive action and have a positive outcome.
Here’s the link to her article: